Media Contacts

Office of Media Relations
2121 Eye St., NW
Rice Hall 5th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20052

Phone: 202-994-6460
Fax: 202-994-9025
E-mail: gwmedia@gwu.edu

 

George Washington University’s National Churchill Library and Center Opens at Gelman Library

Churchill center
Opening Comes as Center Announces First Director and GW President Receives Award From the International Churchill Society
October 26, 2016
MEDIA CONTACTS:
Kurie Fitzgerald: kfitzgerald@gwu.edu, 202-994-6461
Brett Zongker: bzongker@gwu.edu, 202-994-6466
 
WASHINGTON (Oct. 29, 2016)—The first research facility in the nation’s capital dedicated to the study of Winston Churchill opens today as the National Churchill Library and Center at the George Washington University’s Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library. The opening coincides with the International Churchill Conference, presented by the International Churchill Society. University President Steven Knapp also received the Winston Churchill National Leadership Award presented at the U.S. State Department during the conference. 
 
“The Churchill family is proud that Sir Winston Churchill will have a place in the heart of your nation’s capital that will stand as a permanent reminder of the great years when Great Britain and the United States stood together,” said Randolph Churchill, great-grandson of Winston Churchill. “Churchill’s cause of freedom and liberty is something that strikes a chord not only in the United States but also in all the freedom loving nations of the world.”
 
The International Churchill Society, an educational organization devoted to preserving the legacy of Mr. Churchill, and its members donated funds to the university for construction of the center. The society also gave the library a collection of handwritten cards detailing Mr. Churchill’s appointments during World War II, including such historic events as Victory in Europe (VE) Day and the British prime minister’s regular meetings with the King of England and President Franklin Roosevelt. The new center is located on the first floor of Gelman Library on the university’s Foggy Bottom campus. 
 
“The opening of the National Churchill Library and Center fills a much-needed role,” said Laurence Geller, CBE, chairman of the International Churchill Society. “With its location in Washington and strong links to other Churchill institutions, the National Churchill Library and Center is ideally placed to be the epicenter of all Churchill-related activities throughout North America. Not only will the library and center ignite new scholarly interest in the life and current relevance of Winston Churchill, we hope it will inspire research, education and debate into global areas such as modern leadership, statesmanship, citizenry and resolution of conflict.”
 
Geller noted the center's links to Churchill organizations including the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, Cambridge; The Churchill War Rooms, London; Chartwell; Blenheim Palace and the National Churchill Museum at Westminster College, Missouri. 
 
The new director of the National Churchill Library and Center, historian Michael F. Bishop, is charged with establishing partnerships and programming. Mr. Bishop is a longtime member and now executive director of the International Churchill Society and has written extensively on Mr. Churchill and other historical subjects. 
 
“I am delighted by the opportunity to establish the center as a premier location for Churchill scholarship and programming,” said Michael F. Bishop, director of the National Churchill Library and Center and new executive director of the International Churchill Society. “And I’m particularly pleased that the National Churchill Library and Center is at the heart of a great university in our nation’s capital.”  
 
The Gelman Library and new National Churchill Library and Center will educate new generations about Mr. Churchill and will serve as a classroom and meeting space for public programs and lectures highlighting the historical significance of Mr. Churchill and the values that he represented: global citizenship, international collaboration and leadership. The center will forge partnerships around the world and work closely with other schools and programs at GW, including the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the Elliott School of International Affairs, the School of Media and Public Affairs, and the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Affairs. 
 
The center includes event and research space, an interactive digital exhibition on Mr. Churchill, select books about the British leader and a director’s suite. 
 
“We are honored to have the opportunity to open this center, which will foster new scholarship on Winston Churchill’s multifaceted life and times,” said Geneva Henry, dean of the George Washington University Libraries and Academic Innovation. “The National Churchill Library and Center will use Churchill as a lens to encourage critical thinking for the next generation of citizen leaders.”  
 
-GW-